Files from the ordinary

The old man sits at table 34
on the black side of the chessboard
waiting for an opponent

he has never lost


The birds wait for her to

bend her back

pick up the lavender scented clothes from the laundry basket

inspect them for size, shape and colour

shake and turn them into their appropriate position

hang them in the quiet sprawl of suburbia

and cross them off her to-do list

before offering in return their respects

for a job well done.


The boy is not normal

throwing his anchor

in a sandpit

and expecting to fly


It’s her first day at school

she learns her first lesson

when the teachers have no trouble

saying her new friends’ names

but zigzag red lines under hers.


The last they heard

was that his boat capsized

somewhere in Alice Springs,

drowned by two blue lakes.


Karma laughed at her
as she jumped the queue
but did not check
for toilet paper


I am glad they banned smoking
he said as he ordered

a double whopper with cheese meal.


Every day after school
she contemplated life’s
greater meaning with Aristotle,
composed symphonies with Mozart,
meditated with Buddha,
fought artfully with Sun Tzu,
yet could never locate
the romance section.


She fell asleep
to his sorrys
and woke up
next to a crater.


His parents laminated
his books, his pens,
his rubbers, his shoes,
his door, his bed,
but forgot his heart.


Every Friday at 9:30am
the spa was packed
with Italian nonnas
who wore black bathers
and gave their tongues
their weekly work-out.

(true story, from Canberra)


On the first visit,
she flirted with the instructor.
On the second visit,
he wore his ring.
On the third visit,
she found the spiky balls all by herself.


His shirt screamed Che Guevara
His cup spelled Starbucks.


He fell

She saw

He got up

She waited

He said: ‘Do you have a cigarette?’

She shook her head

He pretended it didn’t hurt and got back on his unicycle.


She hated the coffee
but still came for his smiles.



2 thoughts on “Files from the ordinary

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